Microbiome Movement Animal Health & Nutrition Summit

Microbiome Insights is an Expertise Partner and Exhibitor at the 2nd Microbiome Movement Animal Health & Nutrition Summit, to be held October 22-23, 2019 in St. Louis, MO, USA. The event will bring together experts in the field of animal health to discuss the unique scientific and translational challenges inherent in developing safe, effective, and affordable microbiome-focused products to improve animal performance and health. The event brings together both established animal health companies and numerous start-up companies — and speakers will cover a range of topics pertaining to the health of both pets and livestock.

At the event, a talk on rumen microbiology by Dr. Phillip Myer, Assistant Professor in the Insitute of Agriculture at the University of Tennessee, is proudly sponsored by Microbiome Insights.

Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Forum

Microbiome Insights is proud to be exhibiting at Global Engage 7th Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Forum: USA, from October 29th-30th, 2019 in San Diego (USA). With over 400 attendees, 100 speakers, and 35 exhibitors spanning across academia and business (including pharmaceuticals and biotechnology), meeting has a reputation for providing an excellent networking experience and the opportunity for new collaborations. Over the two days, learn about novel research, development trends, business strategies, and funding opportunities. The program this year focuses on metabolic functioning, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, and the relationship between the microbiome and cancer.

Pedro Dimitriu, Microbiome Insights’ Senior Director of Bioinformatics, will be speaking at the event. Malcolm Kendall, CEO, will be moderating a can’t-miss panel on microbiome investment. Come join us in San Diego!

17th Precision Medicine World Conference

Microbiome Insights is pleased to be attending the 17th Precision Medicine World Conference from January 21st-24th, 2020 in Santa Clara (USA) — the largest annual conference dedicated to precision medicine. Global thought leaders, top researchers, medical professionals, and innovators across the healthcare and biotechnology sectors will come together at the forum to share insights about the latest advances in technology, research, and clinical implementation in an effort to move toward precision medicine.

The conference, which has five parallel tracks and more than 70 exhibitors, will feature a talk by Microbiome Insights Senior Director, Biomarker Health, Nataša Jovic: “A Novel, Microbiome-based Test for Inflammatory Bowel Disease”.

Institute for Quality Management in Healthcare Fall Forum: Innovation in Cancer Diagnostics

Microbiome Insights team will be in attendance at the Institute for Quality Management in Healthcare Fall Forum: Innovation in Cancer Diagnostics from November 7-8th, 2019 in Toronto, ON (Canada). This two-day forum aims to advance understandings on current cancer innovations, with topics including artificial intelligence, genomic testing, the microbiome, tumour marker analysis, cancer immunology, patient experiences, and more.
Microbiome Insights CEO Malcolm Kendall will be speaking on November 8th at 10:30am. His presentation is entitled The Human Microbiome and Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention… Inconceivable, or Not!

Microbiome Movement Skin Health & Dermatology Summit

Microbiome Insights is proud to be a founding partner for the 2nd Microbiome Movement – Skin Health & Dermatology Summit, taking place from September 4th-6th, 2019, in San Diego (USA). This collaborative forum will feature over 100 thought leaders from academia, biological sciences, and the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, reviewing the scientific challenges and opportunities pertaining to the skin microbiome: in particular, to translate knowledge of the skin microbiome into safe and commercially viable therapeutics and cosmetic products that improve skin health. Building on last year’s highly acclaimed inaugural event, this conference is an excellent opportunity to discover cutting-edge research and expand collaborator networks.

Microbiome Insights’ Senior Director of Bioinformatics, Dr. Pedro Dimitriu, will be speaking about the company’s specialized expertise in skin microbiome analysis and a partnership with Amway to investigate microbiome-related factors contributing to skin health and aging. Dr. Dimitriu’s talk will be held at 10:00 am on September 5th — don’t miss it!

Canadian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences Meeting

The Microbiome Insights team will be in attendance at the 2019 CSPS Annual Symposium from May 21st-24th, 2019 in Vancouver, BC (Canada). The theme of the conference will be transformational technologies to innovative health care solutions. Among exhibitors, poster presentations, and various sessions on 3D printing, microbiomes, cell therapy, and more, Microbiome Insights’ Senior Director of Bioinformatics Pedro Dimitriu will be speaking. His presentation on May 21st at 2pm is entitled Present and Future of Microbiome Profiling: Opportunities and Challenges.
The CSPS Annual Symposium is a great opportunity to connect and learn from pharmaceutical and life sciences experts from across Canada.  

19th Annual International Healthcare Summit

Microbiome Insights is pleased to be attending the 19th Annual International Healthcare Summit in Kelowna (Canada) from June 24 to 25th, 2019! This two-day forum allows Canadian healthcare officials, senior policy makers, academics, and healthcare professionals to come together and discuss the future of personalized medicine.

The event will include presentations and showcase the newest products and innovations from experts in the field. Case studies and programs will provide a practical angle, making this a great opportunity for initiating collaborations in the healthcare industry.

Microbiome Insights CEO, Malcolm Kendall, will be speaking on a panel at the summit — join us there! 

New work shows gut microbial taxa might vary, but function is stable in people with Crohn’s disease in remission

The numbers, types, and functions of gut microbes and the molecules they produce vary greatly over time and between individuals; however, there is new evidence showing that the metabolic function these microbes perform is conserved in some cases. This new data comes from an analysis of the gut microbiome from several individuals with Crohn’s disease throughout a whole year. The study further showed that the conserved functions are redundant across multiple phyla in the gut microbiome and that gut microbiome metabolism is driven by a web of interconnected reactions and enzymes.

Research has revealed that the gut microbiome plays a fundamental role in our overall health. The microbiome is involved in several vital biological functions including, metabolism, digestion, and immunity. Scientists have shown that there is an enormous amount of variability in the species making up the gut microbiome of any one individual, and this variability is even greater in people with inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease).  This makes any investigation into why a microbiome is not functioning properly extremely difficult. To get around this, researchers posed the question of whether microbial composition was really the best way to seek answers.

The group carrying out this work included researchers from all over the US and included Microbiome Insights Scientific Advisory Board member Dr. Janet Jansson ofthe Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. Their approach was to focus on discrete “metabolic modules” within a gut microbiome instead of taxa or genetic relationships, the idea being that different bacteria can perform similar metabolic functions; so while two humans have a different make-up of species, their microbiomes on the whole could be functioning similarly. With this concept, the researchers wanted to tackle an open question in microbiome and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research—how does the observed volatility in the microbiome composition of patients with IBD influence the functions of the microbiome?

Fecal samples from individuals with Crohn’s following resection surgery and in remission were collected at 5 time points throughout a year and a dual metagenomics/metaproteomics approach applied: they used shotgun metagenomics sequencing to identify genes from the microbiome species and two-dimensional liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry to isolate the proteins. They found that the metaproteomes (the collections of proteins expressed by microbes in the samples) were highly personalized, meaning all the samples taken from an individual more closely resembled each other than they did any sample from another individual. There was, however, still a great deal of variability between the samples taken at different times from a single person. Next they identified “metabolic modules” of proteins known to be involved in certain pathways and functions. In doing so they observed that there were similar and redundant metabolic functions across the different phyla observed over time and between individuals. By further combing through the modules, a clear path from carbohydrate, lipid, and amino acid degradation to central metabolism and finally the production of fermentation products could be found.  According to the researchers, the modules show the interconnectedness of gut microbiome metabolism, meaning that the overall operation of the microbiome should be thought of as network focused on metabolic function.  

This study was not specifically designed to compare healthy vs. unhealthy individuals, says the research team, but because this population is known to have a wide range of taxonomic variability they were chosen to investigate how variation affects function. According to researchers, “the data revealed that microbiomes of these post-surgery individuals had significant variability in taxa, genes, and proteins; however, key metabolic modules associated with central metabolism were seen in all samples, even though the phyla of origin was often different.” Furthermore, they believe this approach provides a unique way to follow metabolic reactions and enzymes, even when the species and proteins involved vary. 

Blakeley-Ruiz JA, Erickson AR, Cantarel BL, et al. Metaproteomics reveals persistent and phylum-redundant metabolic functional stability in adult human gut microbiomes of Crohn’s remission patients despite temporal variations in microbial taxa, genomes, and proteomes. Microbiome. 2019; 7:18.



Microbiome Insights scientific advisory board member Curtis Huttenhower contributes to research identifying thousands of new human microbiome species

Thousands of new microbial species making up the human microbiome have been identified from metagenome samples collected around the world. By reconstructing the microbial genomes found in over 9000 metagenome datasets, the microbial genomes of the unnamed species extend the knowledge of the human microbiome and should aid in development of future metagenomics technologies.

The work of identifying these new species was carried out by a team of researchers from Europe, New Zealand and the US, and included Harvard’s Dr. Curtis Huttenhower (a Microbiome Insights scientific advisory board member). The group used a scalable bioinformatics methodology to reconstruct the genomes of unknown bacteria found within the metagenome assemblies. Here the metagenome samples were site-specific human body samples (oral cavity, skin, vagina, and stool) from multiple people living all over the world. The diverse set included individuals of all ages, living varied lifestyles from 32 countries.

A wealth of information is contained in these samples, as they represent the whole-body microbiome of humans from different geographic locations that experience different climates and circumstances. Seven of the datasets also came from non-Westernized environments, further expanding the range of conditions the microbes are sampled from. Using these metagenomes as the starting point the researchers were able to apply their large-scale single-sample metagenomics assembly and identified 4930 species-level clades, 77% of which had no previous whole-genome level information.

Their method of assembly was optimized to maximize the quality of the microbial genomes being found in the metagenome sample, rather than the quantity. Despite this strict method, 154 723 new microbial genomes were identified, which more than doubles the current publicly available set of roughly 150 000 microbial genomes. With this investigation having doubled the catalogue of known microbial genomes, future studies attempting identify the contents of a metagenomics sample now have a more comprehensive reference set from which they can map out their samples. The metagenomics assembly strategies used in this work can also be applied to non-human associated metagenomes and will be applicable for new sequencing technologies such as synthetic or single molecule long read sequencing.

A large fraction of the previously unidentified species were seen in the non-Westernized samples; however, examples of the new species were prevalent throughout all samples. Roughly 2.5 million genes were also found within the known species-level clades, many of which were associated with conditions including infant development and Westernization. Several taxa of bacteria were found to be prevalent in this analysis despite not being observed in previous well-profiled populations. Still more taxa from underrepresented phyla, such as Saccharibacteria and Elusimicrobia, were found in oral and gut microbiomes.

According to the study authors, “the resulting genome set can thus serve as the basis for future strain-specific comparative genomics to associate variants in the human microbiome with environmental exposures and health outcomes across the globe.”

Pasolli E, Asnicar F, Manara S, et al. Extensive unexplored human microbiome diversity revealed by over 150,000 genomes from metagenomes spanning age, geography, and lifestyle. Cell. 2019; 176: 649-662.




Microbiome Movement Drug Development Summit

Microbiome Insights is proud to be an innovation partner for the 4th Microbiome Movement Drug Development Summit, happening June 27th-28th in Boston (USA). The conference will focus on making progress toward the establishment of causal links between the human microbiome and disease, and creating effective microbiome-based therapeutics, biomarkers, and diagnostic tools. It will feature three tracks of cutting-edge content: one on the discovery and pre-clinical development of therapeutics, another on manufacturing and clinical development, and a third relating to biomarkers, diagnostics, and bioinformatics.




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